TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENT CARTER: Season 1, Episode 7: Snafu [ABC]

Atwell Darcy Whigham Snafu

ABCs Agent Carter Snafu TV Show Review. Agent Carter: Season 1 Episode 7: Snafu is the penultimate episode of the shows tightly packed season and keeps the series moving along at its usual breakneck pace. If you  have been tuning in since episode 1, Snafu will not offer anything that you haven’t seen before but if you are a fan of Agent Carter’s distinctive blend of action, humor and drama then you will get that in spades with a little bit of heart-break thrown in just for good measure.

It is often said that the truth will set you free and with our heroine desperate and backed into a corner at the end of last week’s episode, Peggy wielded honesty like a deadly weapon. In a last ditch attempt to unify her persecutors against the impending threat of Leviathan Peggy came clean about her secret investigation of the Stark case and in doing so forced the SSR team to each take some long hard looks at themselves. Agent Carter’s penultimate episode Snafu does an excellent job resolving character conflicts and reshaping the team dynamics of the SSR agents in a way that gives us the most gratifying episode of the series so far.

Snafu begins with a flashback to the war, where Dr. Ivchenko (Ralph Brown) is sought out on the battlefield so that he may use his hypnotic abilities to ease an injured soldier’s suffering. We get a firsthand view of the comforting effect of Ivchenko’s masterful persuasion method as he soothes a wounded soldier to the point of euphoria while medics saw off his mutilated leg. Meanwhile, after capture at the hands of her former allies, Peggy (Hayley Atwell) attempts to clear her name while denying the substantial evidence of her wrongdoing in the Stark case, a task made almost impossible because of Ivchenko’s manipulation of The Chief (Shea Whigham). In an attempt to come to his allie’s aid, Jarvis (James D’Arcy) does his best to clear Peggy’s name by providing incriminating evidence against Howard Stark, but when his plan proves to be not as well thought out as he anticipated he finds himself incarcerated by the SSR alongside Peggy. While under the SSR’s watch, Jarvis and Peggy stumble upon information revealing Leviathan’s imminent strike, and the duo must find a way to earn the trust of the SSR so that they can get back on Dottie Underwood’s (Bridget Regan) trail before its too late.

Thematically, Agent Carter has always emphasized what happens when people let their beliefs get in the way of facts. Peggy has made progress on the Stark investigation because the other agents do not acknowledge her competency and she consistently flies under their radars while they waste their considerable resources following the wrong leads. Seeing the SSR agents interrogate Peggy while a device containing Steve Roger’s blood laid on the table right under their noses was a wonderful visual encapsulation of how the agents spent the entire season like a group of bloodhounds tracking the wrong scent. A great deal of collateral damage would have been prevented if the SSR agents beliefs did not prevent them from accepting the facts that their perceived subordinate (Peggy) was always trying to offer.

When all her chips were down, Peggy made a defiant stand against her SSR accusers by throwing their unwarranted misconceptions of who she was right back at them. Week after week, we have watched the SSR agents misjudge and dismiss Peggy despite her achievements and it was incredibly satisfying to see an angry Peggy finally make a case for who she is by outlining who she is not. While it’s an undeniable fact to the audience that Peggy is a dedicated, highly skilled, trustworthy ally, each of the SSR agents see her through their own delusion infused perceptions based on the difficulties that they had each endured in their own lives. Agent Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) believed himself a coward and resented Peggy’s heroics, Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) saw Peggy as a fellow underdog and an object of affection and The Chief needed a woman to protect after losing his wife. Peggy forced each man to see her as who she is rather than who they needed her to be and by broadening their myopic perspectives finally put them on the right path towards taking down Leviathan.

The scene where Peggy and Jarvis finally revealed the truth to the SSR was my favorite moment on the show thus far. Just in case we forgot how much of a treat it is to watch Hayley Atwell perform in this role every week, Snafu gave us a huge reminder. Misty-eyed Peggy sharing with the agents that looking after Steve’s blood was her second chance at protecting him delivered a touching moment of first rate drama on a kitschy show that regularly deals with evil Russian hypnotists and secret super soldier serums. Even though all the evidence pointed towards Peggy being guilty, I was willing to accept the SSR guys coming around to believing in her which is a testament to how far along the show has come in such a short amount of time. With only eight episodes to work with I applaud the writers and actors on Agent Carter for completely redefining most of the cast’s relationship to Peggy so quickly without it feeling forced or untrue to the characters.

As much as I enjoyed Snafu, watching it was a bittersweet experience since it reminded me that there is only one episode left in this highly enjoyable series. Heading into the final episode of Agent Carter, Peggy and the SSR are on the same page for the first time and they will need to pool their resources as Leviathan now have control of the highly sought after, deadly Stark technology. We can definitely count on next week’s episode offering the highly anticipated confrontation between Peggy and Dottie but what I’m most excited for is the few surprises that the final episode of Agent Carter will surely have in store for us.

Final Thoughts

Given the great precautions we have seen the SSR take when handling Stark’s hardware in the past, the manner in which they handled the container with Steve’s blood while interrogating Peggy seemed rather care-free considering that they didn’t know what it did.

The scene where Dottie fled down the stairwell was so cool and well executed that it looked like it was lifted right out of a Captain America Movie.

Are we supposed to believe that a world-class spy like Dottie would leave a note with an order for the assassination of a SSR agent written on it lying around for someone to find?

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About the author

Victor Stiff

Born and raised in Toronto, Victor has spent the past decade using his love and knowledge of the city to highlight and promote significant cultural events such as TIFF, The IIIFA awards, and the Anokhi Gala. He is an avid reader of Sci-fi and Horror and constantly sits through indie film marathons in rabid anticipation of the genre’s next great film auteurs. He also contributes sci-fi and fantasy movie reviews to www.zone-six.net

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